Conventionally, most users of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011 access the product using a web browser or the Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Office Outlook client. One of the first questions that we’re usually asked by prospective subscribers of CRM Online 2011 is if they will be able to access CRM Online with their mobile device. Not every user has unhindered access to a computer, and users who rely on a mobile device still want to use the product.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM comes with Mobile Express, a version of the CRM Online 2011 interface that can be accessed through any browser, mobile devices included. The “Express” in Mobile Express comes from the fact that the interface has been intentionally stripped-down and truncated of graphics to ensure fast loading times on mobile devices. While this is handy in a pinch, Mobile Express does not offer offline access or e-mail integration. In our hunt for a better solution for our customers, we ended up teaming up with CWR Mobility, the creator of CWR Mobile CRM 2011 and a two-time Microsoft mobility partner of the year.
Unlike Mobile Express, CWR Mobile CRM 2011 runs as a client on your phone or tablet computer, giving you quick and effective access to your CRM Online 2011 database. Once you install the client on your mobile device, you’re guided through a configuration wizard that connects your mobile device to your CRM Online 2011 database and begins synchronizing data. The data isn’t just accessed through the client; it’s also stored locally on the mobile device. This means if you’re traveling and you find yourself temporarily in a signal dead-zone, you’ll still have your data readily available and you’ll be able to continue to use it normally and even make changes to it. The client synchronizes with the database automatically whenever you get to an area with a signal again. The CWR Mobile CRM 2011 client is fully supported on Android, BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, and Windows Phone.
Several improvements over the previous version of CWR Mobile CRM were packaged into CWR Mobile CRM 2011, including new features such as team ownership and custom activity types. CWR Mobile CRM 2011 also includes GPS mapping and navigation, and can be connected directly to Microsoft Exchange through the use of the new CWR Exchange Connector.
Much work went into the interface of CWR Mobile CRM 2011, as it was specially crafted to take full advantage of the natural design and interface of several differing mobile devices—touch screens included! You’ll notice that while it resembles the interface of CRM Online 2011, it was modified to match the look and feel of each mobile platform running it.
CWR Mobile CRM 2011 is also completely configurable; you can filter entities and attributes and then save these settings to a User Profile in CRM Online. Any number of CRM Online users can share the same profile, so they see the same configuration. This is good for teams or groups that work together. If you find yourself working with Accounts and Contacts often, but never with Invoices, you can simply hide the Invoice entity completely on a User Profile. That User Profile then determines what you (or any other users who have that profile) see on your mobile device, no matter which device you use.
That being said, one of our favorite features in CWR Mobile CRM 2011 is the integration between CRM Online 2011 and the default applications on each mobile device. Even though Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, and Windows Phone all use different e-mail and calendar applications, you can still track e-mails, contacts, and appointments from the relevant applications on your mobile device. When items are tracked, CWR Mobility 2011 takes the items and stores them as records in CRM Online 2011, similar to how the “Track” button works in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Office Outlook client.
CWR Mobile CRM 2011 is fully compliant with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Software Development Kit (SDK). This means any modifications or custom entities created during Microsoft Dynamics CRM configuration and customization will be supported by CWR Mobile CRM 2011. The customizations are automatically synchronized the way records are, requiring no intervention from the user.
xRM.com became strategic business partners with CWR Mobility last year in a move to provide mobile value to our CRM Online 2011 customers. Since then, we’ve been working hard with CWR Mobility to provide and support an application that can literally “change the game” for previous Mobile Express users.
If you’re looking for even more ways to improve the experience of CRM Online 2011 for your users, we recommend you visit the CRM Success Portal for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011. It contains a cornucopia of helpful videos and walkthroughs aimed at users of all skill levels.